On the same day as the Care Management Matters team prepare to hold the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Care Association Conference, we have eagerly anticipated the release of CQC’s State of Care Report and what experts in the sector attending today will make of it.
At first glance, what people can take away from the report is that most people in England receive a good quality of care. Despite continuing pressures and challenges which providers face on a day-to-day basis, the quality of care has been largely maintained, and in some cases improved.
However, dig a little deeper into the report and it becomes clear that the disparities in accessing care and support mean that whilst a person in one region accesses services easily and gets the help they need straight away, somebody in another region not so far away may be struggling to even get their foot in the door of their local services. The report states that 1.4 million older people do not have access to the care and support they need and people who require inpatient mental health care often have to travel long distances to get it.
We know that in the long-run, funding, commissioning and decision-making are crucial to strengthening our social care system. Though these funding challenges are well-documented, the steps to change and possible solutions are harder to find and it can feel like we are learning nothing new. We have seen the government announce £20.5 billion extra funding for the NHS by 2023/24, but there is no such solution for social care and those in the sector continue to hold their breath for the forthcoming Autumn Budget.
Making social care a more collaborative and joined-up system is key to reinforcing the backbone of social care and ensuring it can carry on into the future. As the State of Care report suggests, if this fails to happen, “The alternative is a future in which care injustice will increase and some people will be failed by the services that are meant to support them, with their health and quality of life suffering as a result.”
In response to the report, Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector said, “This concerning report makes it clear that it’s time to get serious about transformation. The delivery of integrated care at scale must be central to the long-term plan for the NHS and supported too by the long overdue green paper for social care. Without a properly funded, well organised and integrated system we will continue staggering from one crisis to the next.’
We will be hearing what our speakers and delegates at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Care Association conference think of the CQC’s report published today so keep an eye out by following the #CMMInsight hashtag on social media. You can also let us know what you think and join in the conversation.